Government of Nepal (GON)
Ministry of Water Resources (MOWR)
Department of Water Induced Disaster Prevention (DWIDP)
NEPAL GOVERNMENT’S POLICY ON
WATER INDUCED DISASTER
Raj K Pandey, MBS, MA
Mobile: 977-01-98510 86884
Jawalakhel, Lalitpur, GPO BOX: 19862
1. Nepal has lost huge number of peoples and properties annually because of monsoon
rainfalls and weak geological structures. The monsoons expedite the floods, landslides and soil
erosion in rivers in the country. The settlements and fertile lands have been eroded rapidly and
accumulated sands and gravels, which originate in the hills and subsequently flow in the rivers in
the plain areas of Nepal.
2. Riverbank erosion and flood problem are swiftly escalating day by day in the mountain,
inner Madhesh and Terai areas. Such problems have become more complex due to the
encroachments on the riverbanks and water mainstream paths as well as unscientific land use in
river courses. Families have been displaced due to floods and landslides. The productivity of the
fertile lands has been declined, which has negatively affected the economic growth because of the
disaster and risk related factors.
3. The Government of Nepal has been attempting to control the floods and landslides through
the different concerned agencies particularly the Department of Water Induced Disaster Prevention
(DWIDP) and Department of Soil and Water Management, which were initially established for same
purpose. Besides these, other governmental bodies, which are especially involving for the
infrastructure development activities, are also indirectly linking their efforts for the flood and
landslide prevention work in order to protect their physical structures. Similarly, local bodies,
affected communities as well as individuals, have developed some preventive measures for this
4. The Government, International and national nongovernmental organizations (I/NGOs), local
bodies and communities have not carried out any concrete and visible solutions for (i) rehabilitation
of the displaced families; (ii) reclamation of the barren land ruined by the floods and landslides; (iii)
rational utilization of the flood affected areas on the basis of risk; (iv) early warning system in risky
areas; and (v) capacity enhancement to encounter floods, glacier explosions, landslides, etc.
5. The Government’s efforts merely will not be sufficient and sustainable for the flood area
management, especially due to the resource constraint. Consequently, it is necessary that the
Government’s central and local bodies, I/NGOs, local communities, including private sector, should
work jointly for this purpose. Therefore, the Government has adopted an Integrated Water
Resource Development and Management Strategy. DWIDP is also a vital part of the overall river
basin development activities.
6. On this way, through the joint efforts, involvement and coordination of the several public,
community and private sectors, this policy has been proposed for an approval to avoid the lack of
an appropriate policy for Water Induced Disaster Management.
7. Water Induced Disaster Management Policy has objectives as follows,
To mitigate the possible losses of human beings and properties caused by the water
induced disasters such as floods and landslides.
To sustain and utilization of the natural resources, drinking water, water based transport,
irrigation, surface transport service, etc. by preserving the rivers’ water mainstreaming
zones and water related ecology and environment.
To reclaim the flood affected land and maximum utilization of such surface for the socio-
economic activities by rehabilitating the landless people.
To institutionalize the existing organization for water induced disaster control and flood area
To define the assigned scope, roles and responsibilities of the central and local government
bodies, I/NGOs, community based organizations, private sector, which are involving for the
river management purpose and minimize duplication of the activities in order to control the
unnecessary expenditures and misuse of the resources.
8. River: This terminology denotes the natural water mainstream above the surface during
water drainage process, which flows naturally and that literally covers the river, stream, gorge,
rivulet, drainage, etc.
9. Flood affected area: It refers particular land, which is covered by water of the rivers, either
one side of the riverbank or both, and may convert the settlements, farmlands, jungles, etc. into
water affected and/or lands which is converted into fortes.
10. Forte: It means that land which is covered by water during floods and/or soil which might
be under water at the time of flood basically that particular land, which can not be reused for the
agricultural productivity after flood and landslide.
11. Reclamation: It refers to forte and riverbank, which exclude water mainstream path of the
river. It can be reused by adopting an appropriate technology for resettlements, agriculture and/or
other socio-economic, religious as well as cultural use.
12. Embankment: This denotes any structures constructed on the edges of the river, which
can prevent the riverbanks’ soil erosion, control the water flow, and prevent flood water to enter
into the nearby lands, villages and settlement around the rivers.
13. To achieve the above-mentioned specific objectives, Government of Nepal has
implemented the flowing policy:
1. Emergency Saving
14. There should be arrangements for a mechanism to acquire and disseminate the early
warning and information system on the possible water induced disasters. For this purpose,
watershed areas and landslides, based on such vulnerable areas and their geographical
information and data, will be managed and linked with the weather forecast information for an
efficient and effective emergency rescue as well as contingency risk management and control of
losses and damages, which are caused by the water induced disasters.
15. Those data and information will include the possibility of the glacier explosion in the
Himalayan lakes and high intensive debris flow in the rivers during floods and its possible negative
impacts and losses.
16. The awareness raising activities at local community level as well as simulation exercises
will be conducted to prepare the locals in coping the emergency situations and possible measures
at the time of contingency circumstances caused by water induced disaster at the community level.
For such simulation exercise, the local administration, local bodies, police, community, army and
other volunteers will be mobilized in a harmonized manner under the District Disaster Relief
Committee (DDRC) at the time of not only simulation exercise but also during the real contingency
17. Warehouses as well as rescue centers will be established in the different parts of the
country for the management of construction materials, equipment, medicines and foodstuffs along
with rescue and relief materials for water induced disaster prevention and its contingency rescue
and relief purpose.
2. Water Induced Disaster Reduction
18. Water induced disaster affected areas, based on intensity of the risk factor, have been
classified as follows:
Highly risky area
Normal risky area
19. DWIDP will prepare landslide and flood affected hazard maps and make them easily
available to all and identify and classify the risky areas accordingly.
20. Certain standardized procedures will be formulated for the physical construction activities in
and around the paths of the water flows, watersheds, flood-affected areas, particularly for the
disaster prevention of physical infrastructure.
21. Appropriate structural measure, none-structural measure, including bio-engineering, and
other necessary remedies will be adopted on short-term and long-term basis for the flood and
landslide prevention purpose.
22. Prioritization will be provided on the basis of water induced disaster risk and sensitivity of
the different rivers, their watersheds and flood affected areas. Master plans for the purpose of
disaster mitigation will be formulated and implemented by mobilizing the available resources and
23. A detention basin will be declared in each possible flood-prone river. Certain areas will be
allocated on the basis of risk factor for the settlement, subsistence level of farming and other socio-
economic activities. Moreover, necessary regulations and acts will be formulated and sporadically
implemented to check the prohibited socio-economic activities and relocate the existing prohibitory
3. Natural Resource Conservation
24. While operating the programs and projects for water use and water induced disaster
prevention, conservation activity of the concerned watershed area will be the prime obligatory and
basic component under such programs.
25. Plantation activities will be encouraged to control the forest encroachments and water
induced disaster prevention in watershed areas. There will be coordination with the Department of
Forest along with local forest users committee, while launching plantation activities along the
riverbank for the river control. While implementing the development project, if there are any
potential encroachments in the forest zones, and possibility for the loss of trees, it will make
mandatory for the re-plantation of at least same number of plants destroyed by the project. The
same development project must conserve and preserve new plants and trees for certain period.
26. While implementing water induced disaster prevention activities, priority will be given for the
protection, conservation and preservation of water related ecology and environment such as aqua-
based creature dwellings in water, wetland zones and other natural resources.
27. Local users groups will be efficiently and effectively mobilized and community participation
will be sought for the watershed conservation work.
28. The District Development Committee (DDC) will endorse the permission with the consent
from District Water Resource Committee in order to trap the forest and aqua products--stone,
gravel, sand, thatch and other natural products-- only within the certain areas and limited quantity
around the river’s watershed areas.
29. The DDC may seek necessary suggestions and recommendations with the concerned
Water Induced Disaster Prevention Office, District Forest Office and Office for the National Parks,
wherever and whichever is applicable, in order to identify and allocate the areas in trapping and
grabbing the existing and possible opportunities from the forest and water based products within
the watershed and wetland zones.
4. Use and Utilization of Forte and Flood Affected Areas
30. The high risk flood affected zones will be used for the recreational parks, farm, forest
related activities. Risk-free areas will be properly utilized for the settlements, industries, schools,
etc. for socio-economic related activities.
31. While running such comparative and competitive activities, major priority will be given on
the basis of environment conservation and maximum socio-economic benefits from the rivers
related natural resources.
32. Land reclamation works will be included while preparing the river control plans. A necessary
directive containing the technical standard will be formulated and continuously implemented for
river control, reclamation, development related works, for the public and private sectors.
33. The Government, local bodies, licensed holder NGOs, or private sector can implement
development activities for agriculture, plantation, recreational and other socio-economic as well as
cultural intention in the reclaimed lands.
34. The public and private sectors will be instructed in order to run the land reclamation and
development projects on the main terms and condition of mobilizing and encouraging the local
community people for their active participation, including project outputs and profit sharing basis at
the local level. Moreover, the rehabilitation and resettlement activities will be carried on for the
landless people in the public area’s reclaimed land. Employment generating activities will be
implemented for income generation.
35. The private sector can rent the Government’s holding lands on the lease basis and operate
the land reclamation related projects. Likewise, other necessary core and periphery lands can be
taken in the rent as per requirements from the Government after paying definite rent to the
36. As far as individual and private organization belonging land is concerned, the project
implementing agency should acquire the needed terrain through the existing legal procedures and
process under a mutual agreement with the concerned landlords.
37. The Government, however, can obtain the private territory by paying the certain
compensation under the existing acts and regulations active in the country in order to operate the
river control and land reclamation under development projects of the Government.
38. However, regarding the projects run by the individuals and private sectors, the concerned
promoters can procure or proceed for an agreement in obtaining the specific land. The
Government will provide the necessary cooperation to facilitate the land acquisition process.
5. Institutional Arrangement and Development
39. The principle roles and responsibilities of DWIDP will (i) manage overall information and
early warning system for water induced disasters; (ii) determine the standard procedures and
preparation of the directives; (iii) prepare hazard related maps, mainly focusing on landslides and
floods; (iv) determine scope, authorities, roles and responsibilities of the central and local bodies
on the basis of the size and shape of the rivers; and (v) determine the standard operating
procedures and issuing of licenses for the proposed land reclamation and development related
40. DWIDP will work on the basis of mutual cooperation and coordination with all the concerned
stakeholders, particularly the concerned ministries, departments, local bodies, research and
academic institutions, I/NGOs, private sector, etc. The Ministry of Water Resources and
Commission for Water and Energy will regularly supervise, monitor and evaluate the functioning of
41. Research and development related assignments will be carried on regularly for the
invention and development of an appropriate technology in order to control the water induced
disters in the countryside. For this purpose, DWIDP will invite the research related institutions,
basically the governmental, none-governmental, private sector, universities, etc. The positive
outcomes of the research and development will be included simultaneously as well as intermittently
in the preparation process of the related standards and directives.
42. The capacity development of the concerned governmental agencies, local bodies, I/NGOs
as well as private sector will also be implemented for water induced disaster management
purpose. On top of this, high priority will be given for the capacity development of the flood affected
local community in the country.
Department of Water Induced Disaster Prevention (DWIDP)
1. The Government of Nepal (the Government) has been rigorously suffering from the soil
erosions, floods, landslides, river bank erosions and so on. The water induced disaster related
problems have frequently occurred because of the difficult and complex topography, geographical
structure, geological situation, earthquake-prone zone, unequal distribution on the volumes of the
monsoon rainfalls, possible glacier explosions in the Himalayan lakes, and unscientific land use,
2. The sustainable developmental process of the country has been facing reverse and
negative impacts due to the huge losses on road, electricity, irrigation, community settlements as
well as drinking water supply and other infrastructures. Moreover, such disasters are
counterproductive and main reason for the destructions and damages of the agricultural land as
well as major cause of the enormous losses of the human beings and property across the country
3. In order to mitigate such kind of natural disasters, Water Induced Disaster Technical Center
(WIDTC) was established under the Ministry of Water Resources (MOWR), through an agreement
based on the mutual understanding between the Government of Nepal and Japan. For the period
of an approximately seven years, several kinds of programs were launched through the
Government of Nepal, under the generous and friendly support from the Japan International
Cooperation Agency (JICA), Nepal Office.
4. However, latter on, the Department of Water Induced Disaster Prevention (DWIDP) was
established under MOWR in order to institutionalize the original objectives and outcomes of the
WIDTC. Moreover, a five-year Disaster Mitigation Support Program (DMSP) has been on operation
under the department in strengthening the capacity development of the Government and
grassroots level community people, under the cooperation from the Government of Japan.
5. Then River Control Division under the Department of Irrigation, was amalgamated with the
department. Subsequently, the Department has existence of seven divisions and five sub-division
offices so far across the different districts in Nepal.
6. The goal of DWIDP is to (i) mitigate the water induced disaster; and (ii) reduce the losses of
human beings and physical properties along with the concrete structures.
7. To strengthen the capacity development of the Government and local community in
mitigating the water induced disasters and introduce innovation and invention of an appropriate
technology through research and development process for better information management system.
Prepare water induced disaster management plans and implementing them;
Identify and classify the risky-areas and prepare hazard-maps;
Strengthen disaster prevention network and information management system;
Raise community awareness and operation of disaster related education;
Activate the Indo-Nepal Committee, which is working for floods management;
Prepare action plans for the flood areas and implement them;
Implement the disaster mitigating methods;
Institutionalize the organizational development process; and
Strengthen the capacity enhancement activities.
E. Action Plans
Institutionalize the rehabilitation activities caused by water induced disasters;
Identify the locally viable disaster mitigation techniques; and
Develop, extend and disseminate the disaster related information system.
Raise community awareness on water induced disaster management;
Identify hazardous area and prepare peril-map;
Research and develop appropriate technologies;
Coordinate and cooperate among the different stakeholders;
Mobilize community for disaster prevention;
Provide necessary stuffs to the disaster victims for an immediate relief;
Encourage active participation of the disaster victims and community;
Prepare annual specific plans to control the localized area-based disasters;
Support developmental infrastructure via coordination with stakeholders;
Formulate long-term master plans and accordingly implementing them; and
Institutionalize capacity development of the existing organizational structure.
Disaster Mitigation Support Program
Disaster Prevention Program
River Control Project
Infrastructure Preservation Programs
a)Technology Development Activities
b) Information Training Study Program
c) River Prevention Program
Bagmati River Control Network
Lal Bakaiya River Control Work
Mugling-Narayanghat Water Induced Disaster Control Project
Sindhuli-Bardibas Water Induced Disaster Control Project, Sindhuli